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The Best Roof Types for the Pacific Northwest

Here in the Pacific Northwest we get quite a bit of rain and wind, so it’s important to have a roof that drains well and can handle the excessive moisture.

While the style of your roof (gable or hipped) also plays a part in how it will stand up to the Portland climate, the material you choose to build your roof with is the biggest factor. Below we’ll go over the roofing materials that work best for homes in Portland and other areas in the Northwest.

COMPOSITION SHINGLES
Also known as asphalt shingles, composition shingles are the most popular choice in just about every region because of their low cost and longevity. They are particularly suited for the Pacific Northwest because of their resistance to harsh weather— like wind, snow, rain, and hail. But, they are still porous, which makes them susceptible to mold and mildew growth. Since composition shingles are so popular, it is easy to find materials for maintenance and repairs. Ask us about special treatments to make your asphalt shingles less absorbent and more resistant to mold growth.

CEDAR SHAKES
Cedar has been used on roofs for decades in the Pacific Northwest, mainly because the region has such an abundant supply (mainly from Canada). Cedar has been thought to improve the overall aesthetic value of a house, which also increases its property value. However, cedar is also more expensive and needs more maintenance than other types of roofing materials. The main threats to cedar roofs are parasitic growth, such as lichen, moss, and mold that will undermine its strength. Over the years, a great deal of research has gone into finding a solution to this problem, and products have been developed to protect against these invaders. This makes cedar much more viable and less of a hassle to maintain.

METAL
Metal roofing materials are extremely water-resistant and have recently made remarkable advancements in the style department. Metal panels and shingles are now available in attractive styles and colors, and even come designed to mimic other materials, such as cedar shake or slate. While the lifespan of a metal roof will vary by the manufacturer and specialized coating, a properly installed metal roof can last up to 50 years. Ask any other roofing company in the area and they’ll tell you that if you are willing to consider it, a metal roof is an excellent choice for our rainy and windy climate.

CLAY AND CONCRETE TILES
You don’t see too many tile roofs around here, but they’ve been catching on over the past few decades. The main advantage of clay tiles is their extreme durability, but they are much heavier and more expensive than other materials. They are not a great choice for a roof in the Pacific Northwest because they are extremely vulnerable to problems that arise from a damp climate. When made correctly, clay tiles have the potential to last for more than a century. Concrete tiles are slightly less expensive, although just as heavy and won’t last as long. However, both clay and concrete tiles will increase the curb appeal and property value of a home as they are available in quite a few designs like flat, ribbed, or even scalloped.

SLATE
This material looks very unique and is lovely, coming in colors like gray, red, black, green, and purple. It’s durable, fire resistant, and can be recycled. It is expensive and very heavy, which requires extra framing. It can last 50 years at least and has been known to last as long as long as 100 years with the proper underlayment. Colonial or European-style homes commonly have slate roofs.

Have questions about a roof installation of replacement? Call Pacific West Roofing at (503) 635-8706 today! We’d be more than happy to discuss your project and provide a free estimate.*

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